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Cricket in Gibraltar is on the up

The last few weeks have seen an expectant Gibraltar Cricket Association (GCA) patiently waiting for good news from the International Cricket Council (ICC) executives.

Whilst at the European Championships in Guernsey in August we had heard that the World Cricket League (WCL) system was going to be expanded and that national teams around the world that were performing well could be included in the set-up. The World Cricket League has been created to allow non-Test playing teams to experience fully international style games and to find their level away from parochial regional tournaments, with the white ball and coloured clothing too.

As reported by the Chronicle and as a result of our performances in Guernsey, Gibraltar are delighted to have been accepted into WCL Division 7 and we will look forward to playing against teams from Guernsey, Japan, Surinam, Nigeria and Bahrain. This marks a massive change in emphasis from competing with our established friends and colleagues from Germany, France, Croatia and the like and gives us a Worldwide opportunity never had before. The ultimate in promotion through the division we have been added to could see us in competition for the ICC World Cup in 2015!

Gibraltar Cricket has been going through a somewhat radical overhaul over the last 12 months or so. We have introduced the game into the school curriculum to 1350 pupils at many of our schools and, since September, we have put some 130 youngsters through an advanced coaching program at Under 11, 13 and 15 age groups, both boys and girls. These players have been part of a ‘district’ program that will accelerate their development and give them the skills required to advance into higher level competition, our junior national squads and eventually into adult cricket when it is appropriate for them to do so.

Training sessions have taken place at St.Anne’s and St.Joseph’s Schools in their indoor halls, as well as at the Old Sports Hall at Bayside and Westside School. Timings are between 6 and 8pm and further details can be obtained for any of the schools cricketers interested by calling 58009210.

Additionally, away from the playing side of things, we have enjoyed the challenge that ICC have given us to produce a comprehensive and cohesive ‘National Operational Plan and Budget Report’ that ties in our key objectives with ICC policy to benefit our sport and improve all areas of the game. These developments will be presented to interested cricketers attending an EGM in December and provide a radical change from the established practices that have gone on up until now.

In keeping with our new international competition it has been agreed that we need to cast the net wider in terms of cricketers ready to take part in the WCL. There are strict criteria that ICC apply to players in their tournaments such that GCA cannot play tourists or those without a commitment to the country – and rightly so. More details of the eligibility criteria can be found at:

http://www.cricketeurope2.net/docs/ECC/TSOP2008/ANNEXURES/E10.pdf

However, so long as you have been born in the country, have represented Gibraltar before or have spent four or more continuous years living and playing here you may well be eligible to represent the country in international tournaments. Gibraltar has a proud history of only playing indigenous players in it’s teams and this will not change, we will not accept overseas players however good they may be!

The initial training program for the WCL will begin in January and it is anticipated that eligible players will commit to training from that month and the pre-competition games in April and tour to Surrey in May. In order to identify those players of a suitable standard who wish to represent their country in this prestigious event, we will be holding initial trials to select the training squad on Sunday 21st December in the outdoor nets at Victoria Stadium starting at 11AM.

No previous experience at international level is required, only cricket ability and the commitment to train for five months before the event. As with the TV program, those possessing the ability to progress will be invited back to further ‘auditions’ and can eventually hope to be involved in the eventual WCL squad! We are quite happy to see triallists from age group cricket as well as those of more mature years. As with the TV program the judge’s decision is final and, in the wish to remain neutral, we will employ county qualified coaches from the UK in finalising the squad.

The WCL is a massive opportunity for Gibraltar and we hope to share it with as many people as we can. The final squad for the competition may only be 14 strong but we trust we will carry the hopes and full support of the nation on our backs when we play in the Channel Islands next year.


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1 comments:

  1. megat said...
     

    your blog very beautiful and more info ,make me excited. Congratulation!!

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